Former Alberta trade representative to lead Canada Energy Regulator

The federal government has picked Gitane De Silva to be the chief executive of the national energy regulator, created last year.

Federal government picks Gitane De Silva to be chief executive of the agency

The newly appointed CEO of the Canada Energy Regulator, Gitane De Silva. (Natural Resources Canada)

Ottawa has selected a former Alberta trade representative to the United States as the new head of the Canada Energy Regulator.

Gitane De Silva, whose past experience includes work as a senior diplomat, has been chosen to be the regulator's next CEO for a five-year term.

She replaces Sandy Lapointe, who had been the organization's acting chief executive.

"Under Ms. De Silva's leadership, the CER will continue its role of overseeing — on behalf of all Canadians — a strong, safe and sustainable Canadian energy sector as we transition to a low-carbon economy," the Liberal government said in a written statement Thursday.

De Silva has held senior executive roles within the Canadian and Alberta governments. In 2015, she was appointed Alberta's senior representative in Washington, D.C., by the then-NDP government.

Her resume also includes time as the consul general of Canada in Chicago, head of environment and fisheries with the Canadian Embassy in Washington and the deputy minister of international and intergovernmental relations for Alberta.

She most recently worked as a special advisor at TransAlta, an Alberta-based electricity power generator.

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is responsible for reviewing energy project proposals that fall within its jurisdiction and makes recommendations to cabinet around approvals, and issues conditions for approval. 

It's also responsible for oversight of existing pipelines and transmission lines. 

The CER replaced the National Energy Board after the federal government passed Bill C-69 last year.